Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: The Secret Garden

Here are my thoughts on The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett in one sentence: Not as good as I remembered it. Doesn't that suck?

For those of you who haven't read it, or read it so long ago you can't remember it: Contrary little Mary is sent to live with a relative on the Yorkshire Moors after her parents and household die in India. The spoiled girl has never even dressed herself and is quite friendless. But with the help of two boys, a gardener, and an abandoned garden, she becomes a new person.

Clearly, I have become a jaded, terrible person, one who can't even enjoy such a magical story. I felt terrible for Mary and was happy about her transformation - but found angelic Dickon to be annoying and Colin to be insufferable. That said, I loved this book when I was a girl so hopefully someday, if I read this to my little M, I'll be able to enjoy it through her again. Until then, I think I'm too old to enjoy this one.

Buy The Secret Garden on Amazon. Or do what I did, and download it free via Project Gutenberg.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Pritzker

As you've probably heard by now, the winner of the 2011 the Pritzker Prize has been announced: Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. I am not too familiar with him, to be honest, but the images I've seen of his work are striking.

I have a feeling I posted this link last year, when they announced who won the Pritzker, but I think it bears repeating:
Architecture Is a Team Sport: So why do they award the Pritzker Prize to just one person?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: The Order of the Odd Fish

Before I even start the review, I'll make a disclaimer that my sister gave me The Order of Odd-Fish and it was written by a friend of hers, James Kennedy. I don't think I've met him, though, so no bias here. Moving on...

Jo Larouche, age 13, was found as a baby with this note: This is Jo. Please take care of her. But beware. This is a dangerous baby. Despite the warning, Jo leads as normal a life as possible with her eccentric Aunt Lily- until she's transported to the bizarre world of Eldritch City. There, now installed as a member of the Order of Odd-Fish, Jo learns the truth about who she is and why she has to confront the Belgian Prankster, who is either a villain or the world's scariest comedian.

When my sister gave me the book, I didn't know what to think, actually. The cover was cute but strange, the title was definitely offbeat and the first chapters decidedly weird. It was, no doubt, an odd book. But as I kept reading, I found myself pulled in, really wanting to find out who Jo is and how she will handle the truly awful circumstances thrust on her. Despite the bizarre trappings of the story, at the heart there is a sweet girl making difficult decisions in an unfamiliar context. I rather enjoyed it.

Buy The Order of Odd-Fish on Amazon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Back!

Maternity leave has come to an end and I am back to work (part-time at first), so with it, I've decided to try to blog again. Starting Monday, I plan to post a review or two a week, plus other items of interest. I have no plans to post pictures of the baby here, however, so if you'd like to see more of her, please find me on Facebook instead. Or drop me an email and I'll be happy to go on (and on!) about how adorable and perfect she is.